Betta fish are beautiful with their vivid colors and dream-like fins. However, most fishkeepers tend to not want to own these fish because they think they’re hard to care for and that it’s impossible to find compatible Betta tank mates for them.
It’s actually easier than most people think, as long as you meet the right tank conditions and reproduce their natural environment, as for any fish species. Also, there are multiple compatible tank mates for Bettas. There should be no problems as long as you pick peaceful fish or invertebrates and get large enough tans.
So if you ever wondered what fish can live with Bettas, you’re in the right place. In this post, you can find the 50 best Betta fish tank mates. These male or female betta tank mates are guaranteed to liven up your tank, keep your Betta fish company, and create a beautiful aquarium.
What Size Is Your Water Tank?
What size of tank do you need?
It can be tempting to create a community aquarium and not leave your Betta fish in a tank alone. Bettas are known to be aggressive and territorial, but as long as you set them up in a tank that’s large enough and find the right tank mates, everything should go smoothly.
So if you decide to give your Betta fish some company, the first thing you need to consider is the size of the water tank you require. As you can imagine, the more tank mates you add, the larger your aquarium will need to be.
On its own, a Betta fish needs at least a tank that can support two gallons. Ideally, we recommend at least five to ten gallons. In this case, bigger is better. Especially for community tanks.
The type of tanks mates you then decide to get, and their amount depends on the size of the fish tank you have. If you want a lot of company for your Betta fish, you will need a bigger fish tank. Below are some tank mate examples.
If you just want to add invertebrates, like snails, a 5-gallon fish tank should be enough. However, if you plan on adding other fish, males or females, you will need a much bigger tank.
It’s important that you take the time to plan out your aquarium and all the tank components you need before you add your Betta fish and other potential tank mates to your aquarium. For a couple of fish (up to five inches in total) and one Betta, 10-gallons should be fine. However, if you have multiple female Betta fish and want to add other tank mates, you will need at least 25 gallons.
Usually, the common rule is to add at least one gallon of water for every inch of fish you want in a tank. If you have more space than that, that’s even better. Otherwise, it could ruin the tank’s water and filter quality. Plus, it could make your Bettas stressed, aggressive, and territorial.
How do you minimize the chances of aggression?
Betta fish need big tanks, especially if they share the tank with others. Otherwise, they can get aggressive and territorial. You also should pair them with peaceful fish species so everything goes smoothly.
To minimize aggression, get peaceful bottom-dwellers tank mates for your Betta fish. The bigger tank you get, the better. Also, you can use your tank equipment and decorations to minimize chances of territorial behavior and aggression.
You can create separate areas and give your fish hiding and exploration spots, as Bettas particularly like to explore their fish tank.
If you plan on getting a tank that’s larger than 50 gallons, it’s a good idea to use filters as well as bubble stones to generate a stronger current. Since Betta fish are used to low-intensity currents, they won’t go in these areas and bother your other fish that enjoy stronger currents, such as rasboras or shoaling tetras.
It’s actually not that difficult to find appropriate tank mates and set up a community tank. There are so many options out there, as you can see below!
Best Tank Mates for Your Betta Fish
Now that you know that the size of the tank depends on what type of tank mates you plan on getting for your Betta fish and how many, here are the best tank mates for your Betta fish.
Below, we’ll talk about the 50 best tank mates for Betta fish, both female, and male.
Best Female Betta Tank Mates
It’s much easier to find suitable tank mates for your Betta fish if they’re females. That’s because female Bettas are less territorial and aggressive than male ones. Here are our suggestions:
Best Female Betta Tank Mates For 25 Gallons Or More
Tank mate 1 – Assassin Snails
Granted, the name of these snails is scary, but they are good tank mates for Betta fish. They’re called like that because they can eat their offspring and therefore help control the snail population.
They also clean any detritus at the bottom of your fish tank. They’re yellow with brown stripes and won’t bother any fish or fry.
Tank mate 2 – Common Plecos
Young plecos are a good addition for your Betta sorority in at least a 25 to 50-gallon tank. They’re not good for smaller tanks as they keep growing. But we don’t recommend you keep them in when they’re too big, as they could harm some of the community fish in the tank.
Tank mate 3 – Snowball Plecos
Snowball plecos are beautiful fish to keep around your Betta fish. They have white spots on a black or brown body.
They’re good for planted tanks that are at least 25 gallons. Otherwise, they’ll be too big. They can eat detritus and leftover food in the tank, so they’re useful to have, and they shouldn’t bother your Betta fish.
Tank mate 4 – Clown Loaches
If you have a Betta tank that’s more than 75 gallons, Clown loaches are good fish to keep around. You can add at least five of them to your Betta tank, as they’re either social or just hide away.
They’re also very entertaining and add color to your aquarium with their vivid yellow bodies and black stripes. They can grow up to 12 inches, so they need a bigger tank.
Tank mate 5 – Yoyo Loaches
Yoyo loaches, aka Almora loaches, are colorful scavenger fish. They’re fun fish to watch as they move up and down, like a yoyo (which explains the name).
They only grow up to two inches, but they can be territorial amongst themselves, so it’s best to keep them in a larger tank and a group of five or more. They’re not harmful to Betta fish, and Betta fish aren’t harmful to them.
Tank mate 6 – Peppered Loaches
These scavenger fish are good tank mates for Betta fish, as long as they’re kept in a group of three or more. Peppered loaches, aka Guntea loach, can grow up to 6 inches and look a bit like freshwater eels.
They have a grey or brown body, with black stripes or even spots. These fish like to dig for substrate and enjoy planted tanks with many hiding spaces. So they’re perfect tank mates for your Betta fish, and they won’t bother them.
Tank mate 7 – Glass Catfish
Glass catfish, aka ghost or even phantom cats, can take a while to adjust to a Betta fish tank as they’re shy. However, once they get comfortable, they’re fun to watch and make good companions for your Betta in a 30-gallon tank or more. They’re particularly impressive to watch if they’re in a group of five or 10, as they shoal together.
As you might guess, ghost fish are completely see-through. You can even see the skeleton and organs of these scavenger fish!
Tank mate 8 – Panda Cory Cat
Panda cory cats are also good tank mates for your female Betta fish. Just like Bettas, they prefer planted tanks. These gold and black scavenger fish are peaceful. They’re known to get on well with female Bettas. We recommend adding a group of five or seven in a 30-gallon tank or more.
You just need to be careful with the substrate you put in your fish tank. It has to be smooth. Otherwise, these fish could hurt their whiskers.
Best Schooling Betta Tank Mates For 25 Gallons Or More
Tank mate 9 – Black Neon Tetra
Black neon tetra are friendly fish that you can keep in a group of 10 or more, along with your Betta fish. They’re good tank mates, ideal for big Betta tanks. It’s impressive when you see 30 or 50 of them in a tank!
Tank mate 10 – Cherry Barb
Cherry barbs are good tank mates, too, for your Betta fish, as they’re shy. They’re bright red and like to swim together in a group of 10 or more.
Tank mate 11 – Neon Tetra
Neon tetras are probably among the best tank mates in community tanks, and they also suit Bettas. There won’t be problems with your Betta as long as you keep these Tetras in groups of 10 or more.
Tank mate 12 – Ember Tetra
Ember tetras, aka fire tetras, are also another tank mate option for large Betta tanks. In general, with Betta fish, they won’t bother your other fish as long as they’re plenty of space and if you add large groups of the same fish species.
Tank mate 13 – Rummy Nose Tetra
In groups of 10 or more, Rummy nose tetras can be another good addition for large Betta fish tanks. Their movements are fun to watch, and they won’t bother your Betta fish, and your Bettas won’t bother them.
Tank mate 14 – Glowlight Tetra
Glowlight tetras seem to light up when the light is low, hence their name. They’re a kind of schooling fish that enjoy planted tanks. Keep them in a group of 10 or more if you want to add them to a large Betta tank.
Tank mate 15 – Cardinal Tetra
Cardinal tetras have the reverse coloring of neon tetras. They have the same behavior as other Tetras fish to be a good addition to your Betta fish tank.
Tank mate 16 – Gold Tetra
Gold tetra, which are shimmery, as you might guess from their name, are a bit more challenging to keep in Tetra tanks. However, if you like them, you can keep them in a group of six or 10, so they’re safer.
Tank mate 17 – Blue Tetra
We only recommend Blue tetras for one single Betta tank. Otherwise, these tetras can nip at other fish’s fins. It should be fine if you add seven to 10 Blue tetras. They shouldn’t attack your Bettas, but if they do, remove them from the tank immediately.
Tank mate 18 – Red Eye Tetra
These are good tank mates as long as you keep them in a large group to prevent Bettas from attacking them.
Tank mate 19 – Penguin Tetra
This is the same as the above.
Tank mate 20 – Zebra Danio
These are very popular among Betta sorority tanks. Keep them in a group of 10 or more, in a planted aquarium, with plenty of space.
Tank mate 21 – Celestial Pearl Danio
If you keep 10 or more in a large planted tank, these are good Betta companions.
Tank mate 22 – Mosquito Rasbora
These shy schoolers are another good option in groups of 10.
Tank mate 23 – White Cloud Minnow
White cloud minnow are known to do well in large Betta tanks in groups of six or more.
Tank mate 24 – Lambchop Rasbora
Lambchop rasbora, aka fake harlequin rasbora, are easy to care for and make good Betta tank mates in groups of six or more.
Tank mate 25 – Fire Rasbora
Finally, fire rasboras do well in Betta sororities, but they’re too bright in color to keep with Betta males.
Best Male Betta Tank Mates
Best Male Betta Tank Mates For 5-Gallon Tanks
Tank mate 26 – Cherry Shrimp
Red cherry shrimp, aka cherry shrimp, most known for their vivid red color, are probably the most popular freshwater shrimp suited for aquariums. They don’t grow more than one and a half inches. They eat algae and are compatible with one Betta fish. You can keep one or two with your Betta in a 5-gallon tank.
Tank mate 27- Ghost Shrimp
Ghost shrimp, aka glass shrimp, can grow to two inches, and as their name indicates, you can see through them! They like to hide under debris. We recommend you don’t add more than two and three with one Betta in a small tank. Otherwise, your Betta fish could eat them.
Tank mate 28 – Malaysian Trumpet Snails
If you want peaceful aquatic snails with an original trumpet shape, try adding trumpet snails to your 5-gallon fish tank. These are very common and do well in several tank sizes. However, remember that they can reproduce quickly and that your Betta fish can eat the offspring. Luckily, adults aren’t usually eaten.
Tank mate 29 – Mystery Snails
If you want to add even more color to your tank on top of your beautiful Betta fish, try adding these Mystery nails to your aquarium. They’re brightly colored, and there’s a variety of colors you can choose from, including albino, yellow, purple, blue, or black.
On top of their peaceful behavior and compatibility with Bettas, one of their advantages is that they eat the algae that form in the tank and other debris. So they’re great to clean your tank and maintain good water conditions!
Ideally, only get one mystery snail to keep company with your Betta fish. Otherwise, there probably won’t be enough food in the tank for them.
Tank mate 30- Nerite Snails
If you have an algae-growth problem in your small aquarium, and mystery snails can’t help you, then you should try adding nerite snails to your tank. One of these snails is good to keep with your Betta, but you shouldn’t keep more.
Also, they’re a pretty addition to your tank with their patterned and striped shells. They are also small and don’t grow more than two inches in diameter. However, make sure you keep a lid or hood on top of your Betta tank, as these snails like to hang at the top of the tank and sometimes climb out of it.
Tank mate 31- Ramshorn Snails
Although some fishkeepers consider ramshorn snails to be pests, one or two of them can do well in a small tank along with your Betta fish. We recommend you don’t get more than one. Otherwise, they breed very easily and can take over the tank. Plus, your Betta fish could eat the potential offspring.
As you can probably guess from the name, these snails have a shell that looks like the curled horn on a ram.
Tank mate 32 – Zebra Snails
If you want a unique snail to keep with your Betta fish, you could add a zebra snail to the fish tank. Just like its name indicates, its shell looks like a zebra.
Some zebra snails have unique shapes and swirls, which tells you how one-of-a-kind they are! They’re good companions for your Betta fish, and they’re also easy to care for.
Tank mate 33 – Endler’s Guppy
These are small fish that can go from half an inch to one inch. Since they’re so small, they won’t be a threat to your Betta fish.
However, make sure you only keep either male or female Endler’s Guppy fish with your Bettas, as otherwise, these can eat the guppy’s offsprings. You can keep two or three of these small fish with one betta fish.
Best Male Betta Tank Mates For 10-Gallon Tanks
Tank mate 34 – Amano Shrimp
Amano shrimp, aka algae-eating shrimp, are two-inch freshwater shrimp good for 10-gallon Betta fish tanks with many hiding spaces and dense foliage.
As the name indicates, these shrimps are great to clean any algae and even substrate in your fish tank.
Tank mate 35 – Dwarf Crayfish
These are also a good addition to Betta tanks. Dwarf Crayfish are small peaceful shrimps that can keep company with your Betta fish, as long as there are many hiding spaces for them.
It’s good to add these shrimps in trios, so they don’t fight each other and just need the water to be kept clean for them to be happy and peaceful.
Tank mate 36 – Cory Catfish
If you want to keep peaceful yet entertaining fish along with your Betta fish, Cory catfish make a great addition to the tank. They scavenge for food in the tank’s substrate and there are several varieties you can choose from that will be good tank mates for your Betta fish.
These include Albino Cory, Panda, and Pygmy Catfish. They can reach anywhere from one to three and a half inches. Ideally, only keep one cory catfish in the tank with your Betta fish. Just so you know, Albino Cory Catfish should be kept in bigger tanks, at least 30-gallon ones. We’ll talk about them more below.
Tank mate 37 – Otocinclus Catfish
Otocinclus fish, aka Otos, are a small type of schooling catfish. They can grow up to four inches, but they’re usually below that size. They’re a good addition to Betta tanks, and they’re also useful as they can eat the algae in the fish tank. Be careful, though, as they can also feed on the other plants in your aquarium.
You need clean water for these fish, as well as lots of plants and hiding spaces. These are the same requirements for Betta fish anyway, so it’s perfect.
Otos are social among themselves and can be kept as a group of three in a 10-gallon Betta tank. Just be aware that they will need a bigger set-up after a few years.
Tank mate 38 – Pygmy Cory Cat
Pygmy cory cats are a type of Cory catfish. They’re very small, no more than one inch, and they have stripes along their body. They like to hide under plants or debris at the bottom of the fish tank since they’re shy. So there’s a very low chance of your Betta fish being aggressive or territorial to them. You can keep up to three Pygmy fish in a small Betta tank.
If your Pygmy cory cats swim at the top of your fish tank, it’s a sign that the tank’s water quality is bad and that you should perform a water change.
Tank mate 39 – Clown Plecostomus
Clown Plecostomus are a dwarf species of Pleco fish. They’re only three and a half inches long and are good companions for your Betta fish. They’re also useful because they can eat the algae and debris in the fish tank.
You should put only one Plecto in your 10-gallon Betta’s tank. This fish won’t be for everybody as it needs a spirulina supplement or any veggie-based food.
Tank mate 40 – Kuhli Loach
Another good tank mate for your Betta fish is a Kuhli loach, aka Leopard or Cinnamon loach. These fish are shy and like to hide so that they won’t be a problem for your Betta fish. They’re active during nighttime and rest during the daytime. They also like to hide under rocks and crevasses, and they are scavengers.
You can keep one with your Betta in a 10-gallon tank.
Tank mate 41 – Female Fancy Guppy
These are the only female fish that we advise you to add to a Betta tank. You can keep up to three females in the tank with your Betta fish, as long as they have plants to hide in.
They’re compatible with male Bettas because they don’t have colorful tails. Don’t add male fancy guppies because they have colorful tails and could trigger your Betta fish.
Tank mate 42 – Platy Fish
Platy fish are peaceful livebearing fish related to Molly fish and Swordtails. They have all kinds of patterns and colors, so they’re a beautiful addition to your small Betta fish tank! Platy fish can come in red, blue, black, orange, brown, green, so you have plenty of options.
They also don’t take much space as they only grow up to three inches long. Their small size and their peaceful behavior make them good tank mates for your Betta fish.
Tank mate 43 – Red Rasbora
Red rasbora, aka Harlequin rasbora, are small shoaling fish 2 inches long at max. They’re a beautiful bronze color with black markings. We recommend you don’t add more than three of them to your 10-gallon Betta fish tank.
Tank mate 44 – Molly Fish
Molly fish come in different sizes (they don’t grow more than three inches) and colors. They’re easy to care for and perfect for beginner fishkeepers. The short-finned Molly varieties are especially good tank mates for your Betta fish in a small tank.
We recommend you get no more than three mollies for your Betta fish tank.
Tank mate 45 – African Dwarf Frog
A frog might seem like a surprising tank mate for Betta fish, but African dwarf frogs are great tank mates for 10-gallon Betta tanks.
As their name suggests, these are miniature frogs that can truly make your tank unique! They’re also very fun to watch, and you can be sure that you’ll have an entertaining tank with your Betta fish and African dwarf frogs. These frogs can fit into any small crevices.
It’s safe to keep up to three dwarf frogs in a 1–gallon Betta tank. The frogs usually hide under rocks during the daytime, and they like to float at the top of the fish tank during nighttime.
Best Male Betta Tank Mates For Larger Tanks (20 Gallons Or More)
You need bottom-dwelling tank mates for your male Betta fish for larger Betta tanks. Some of these are more active at nighttime than daytime so that they won’t bother your Betta fish.
Tank mate 46 – Albino Cory Cat
Albino cory cats are a species of Cory fish ideal for keeping in Betta tanks that are at least 30 gallons.
As their name indicates, they are albino, and they don’t grow more than two inches. These fish just require smooth, fine, or sandy gravel not to injure their whiskers. Planted tanks are ideal for them as they don’t like bright lights. You can keep up to five Albino cory cats in a Betta fish tank.
Tank mate 47 – Bushy Nose Pleco
Bushy nose plecos, aka Bristlenose Plecostomus, are beautiful and peaceful fish that make for great companions for your Betta fish in a large fish tank.
They’re one of the smallest catfish for fish tanks, as they only grow to five inches, max. As the name suggests, they have bristles that grow around their nose and mouth. These fish have brown scales, and captive-bred ones can have different colors.
Tank mate 48 – Candy Stripe Plecos
Candy stripe plecos can only be kept in a 25-gallon Betta tank or more, and you should only keep one with your Betta fish, as these Plecos can get territorial.
They’re not the easiest choice for beginners, but they’re beautiful with their yellow or orange stripes.
Tank mate 49 – Upside Down Catfish
Upside down catfish are ideal for Betta planted tanks at least 20-gallon. As the name suggests, they like to stay upside down. You can either add these scavenger fish to your Betta tank as one or in a group of three.
Tank mate 50 – Zebra Loach
Zebra loach, aka candy stripe loach, are four-inch bottom-dwelling scavenger fish. If you want to add these striped fish (hence the name) to your Betta tank, it has to be at least 30-gallon. That’s because they’re more active during the day than other loaches.
You can add three to five Zebra loaches to your Betta tank, so your Betta fish can’t pick on one of them. Make sure you give these candy stripe loaches plenty of hiding spaces.